Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday with Writers

I love hanging out with writers. Today my pal Christa Allan spoke to our BWG members and I was so proud of my group. They looked wonderful sitting around the tables listening, taking notes, asking questions and participating in the writing exercise. I'm nuts, huh? I feel like an old mother hen. I want "my" BWG group to look good to our speakers , but I also want our speakers to look good to my group.

I feel incredibly stressed when I bring in a speaker who has a book to sell. I want him/her to have a wonderful audience, sell a lot of books, go home motivated and inspired. I also want my BWG members to enjoy the talk, learn something, and feel motivated and inspired. I want it all--for everyone!
After our meetings, we trek off to Piccadilly to eat together and talk more. When we finished lunch, hubby and I went with Christa to her book signing at the Christian Book Center. They had a lovely area all set up for her right at the front door. I stayed there for an hour and a half and she was meeting and greeting the entire time--and signing books.
At our workshop, Christa shared a lot about her writing experience and gave us some useful tips but this is what I brought home with me: When revising, focus on one thing at a time. Small chunks. One day may be devoted to going through your manuscript and revving up your use of the senses. The next day you might devote time to locating all those passive verbs. If you feel overwhelmed by revising 300 pages, then focusing on one thing at a time is do-able.

Great advice. My friend T.C. says, "If I take bigger bites than one or two pages, then I get discouraged about coming back and rewriting." Christa told the group to find what works for each of us.

So tell us: how do you maniupulate 300 pages of passive verbs?


Erica Vetsch said...

What a wonderful time! Wish I'd been there.

You really have the gift of encouragement for writers.

christa said...

What a great group to speak to on Saturday! Great questions; if only my students were as attentive...

Bless you for all you did to help and for setting up the book signing. Terrific response,and the staff at The Christian Book Center was so helpful.

The Lake Charles Bayou Writers is a group serious about pursuing its dreams.

Jan Rider Newman said...

Jess, I'm so glad things went well -- even though I wasn't there. LOL. Wish I could've been in 2 places at once. You have the biggest heart of any writer I know.

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Oh yes I am joining your group. Send me an address so I can put a check in the mail. I loved the friendship and knowledge. I could have read Christa's book non-stop if I could. I love it and will blog about it soon. Thanks for inviting us.

Carol J. Garvin said...

Jess, I wandered over to your blog from Erica's and have been exploring and enjoying your posts. This one reminded me of when we've had guest speakers at my writers' group. If I don't know the speaker personally then added to the stress is the concern that the emphasis for him/her will be more on promoting sales of a book than on providing an inspiring and beneficial talk. Finding a balance that will satisfy everyone must be quite a challenge.

The writers of our area are getting together next month just to "meet and greet" each other over lunch. There will be some readings but no sales promotions, and I'm looking forward to the "no pressure" gathering.

Stargazer said...

Hi Jess,

I can see I missed a great time this month. Will have to do something to make up for it in April. So glad there was a good crowd. Missing you. I'm ready for that lunch, but only if it's dutch.

prashant said...

You really have the gift of encouragement for writers.
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